Category Archives: Technology

Chumby — May just be the Alarm Clock of my Dreams

One of my first posts on this blog was a description of my idea alarm clock: Dreaming about an Alarm Clock. One of my key desired features was to set a separate alarm for each day of the week. Every time a new iPod radio alarm has been released, I eagerly read the online documentation, just to be disappointed again. Today I saw this article about a new rather strange “gadget’: The Chumby. Continue reading

12″ PB HDD Upgrade

Here’s an interesting first hand report on upgrading the hard drive in a 12″ PowerBook. It’s the same kind of laptop I have had for a number of years now and I also have been wondering if it is a worthwhile effort. After searching online and reviewing upgrade guidelines I had decided that it was too much trouble and instead opted for cleaning up my hard drive to remove electronic clutter. Fortunnately, I had enough foresight to order a built-to-order laptop with the largest HDD offered at the time, 100 GB, still not to bad even by today’s standards. If all it takes is one hour, the procedure may not be as bad as I thought is was, we’ll see…

UN Makes Databases Publicly Accessible

“The DESA Statistics Division has just launched a new internet-based data service for the global user community. It brings UN statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point. Users can search and down load a variety of statistical resources of the UN system. […] Since its foundation, the United Nations system has been collecting statistical information from member states on a variety of topics. The information thus collected constitutes a considerable information asset of the organization.” [reference]

The database can be accessed here:

The first couple of search terms I tried all failed b/c they are not part of the database. Until it is extended with more data, it seems more useful to browse rather than search. Fortunately, an overview of the covered areas is included and can be browsed in a handy hierarchical way. Data can be filtered by year and country, and once desired results have been identified they can be downloaded for further analysis.

Acrobat Side-by-side Comparison Got Sidestepped

One of the most useful features in Adobe Acrobat 5.0 that I used first as a student and then later even more at work was its ability to compare two documents side-by-side and mark all the differences. It is the only program I know to date that enables one to do this. I used it frequently to compare all sorts of files, usually either MS-Word documents or MS-Excel sheets. While this does involve the extra step of creating PDFs, it works beautifully in most cases. Continue reading

Ink Scam w/ Level Indicators

This ars technica article is a bit older but probably none the less applicable. The gist of it is that inkjet printers claim that a cartridge is empty much too early. If you replace right then, you may be paying twice as much as necessary depending on your printer model. And that does not given count the ink lost to nozzle cleaning and the like. Continue reading

Edit Google Maps Locations

This just in from MacWorld: Now you can edit the location of your house, business, etc on Google Maps as long as you have an account with Google. Continue reading

Graffiti 1 Still Works

A couple of years ago I upgraded my Handspring Platinum to a Palm Tungsten E2. Primarily, I was looking for a higher resolution screen, a color screen, and Bluetooth. I read all the reviews and found it for a good price, but when I took it out of the box I found out that Palm had changed the Graffiti to Version 2. This apparently was meant to be more intuitive by only using lower case characters. This might work well if you are not used to this input method. In fact, my wife was able to use it right away.

Being an old time Palm user (before the Platinum I had a Palm IIIx), I was less than happy. Continue reading

Dreaming about an Alarm Clock

My dream is to find a very customizable alarm clock that is functional and also looks good. I have tried a few, researched a lot, and three years ago I found one which is near perfect but still leaves a few things to be desired.

Here is a list of the things I am looking for: Continue reading